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John Daub

Software Profession

Who I am






My name is John Daub. Since 1996 I’ve worked in software as a Developer, Author, Architect, Principal, Director, and Consultant.

In the late 1990s, PowerPlant was the leading C++ Mac app development framework.
The DR Performance Practice Deck, my first iOS app released 2011.
I wrote ArchiveSearch (initial release in StuffIt Deluxe 6, October 2000). Michael Tsai was correct, and I changed it to “Fewer” in an update.


Early Me

I believe it was summer 1983. That summer I turned 11 in Omaha and attended a computer programming summer camp. I learned BASIC, and I proudly carried those 4 BASIC books with me everywhere. I also fell in love with Apple Computer (specifically the Apple IIe). One afternoon, my Dad took me to a small convention of early software development enthusiasts, and I walked out with many 5.25″ floppies filled with software. I hacked a horse racing game to have an age-gate upon launch – I thought I was so clever. So I began my hobby of programming/hacking.

In 1996 I began my professional software career at Metrowerks in Tech Support. I worked my way to developing PowerPlant, then the leading C++ application framework. In 1999 I joined Pervasive Software and helped bring Tango 2000 to market. I also would spend the next 6 years as a Contributing Editor with MacTech Magazine.

In 1993 I founded Hsoi’s Shop, a small vehicle for me to release my own projects, including some early open source software. I contributed to Marco Piovanelli’s WASTE project. I released a handful of PowerPlant Contributed Classes. I made a lame attempt at an app shell framework. CFAbsoluteTimeConverter, HsoiContextualServices, UUIDGenerator were children of the time.

Big Nerd Ranch Engineering Director Summit, July 2022
Pervasive Software’s Tango 2000. Tango Action Files were the big thing. January 2000.
I never liked this rework of Spring Cleaning’s user interface.
Bar-Z’s GoExplore platform’s postcard feature – brought to iPad. I snuck a picture of my dog, Sasha, into the screenshot.
Clash 2019 presentations, Team Hydration Sensation (2nd place)


Later Me

I spent 12 years at Smith Micro Software (née Allume Systems, née Aladdin Systems). I wrote ArchiveSearch, part of the StuffIt Suite of compression tools. I spent most of my tenure on Spring Cleaning and Internet Cleanup. Contributed to the 3G/4G/WiMAX USB dongle white-label project (Verizon, Sprint, Comcast, Bell Canada). 

I returned to my Texas roots as an Adjunct Instructor in Cyber-Security for the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). I also deviated from a decade-plus of working from home to spend 2 years at a local Austin shop, Bar-Z as their Lead iOS Developer working on their white-label GoExplore platform.

I founded Hsoi Enterprises LLC April 2010 to better handle my training and consulting projects. I produced apps such as the DR Performance Practice Deck. May 1, 2014 I went full-time indie-dev – it was a growth experience. I joined Oven Bits (now “Make”), enjoying work for clients such as Urban Decay (Vice Lipstick virtual try-on app) and Traeger Grills (I helped bring WiFire to market). Oven Bits was special, and while I’m sad it ended it was my catalyst in joining Big Nerd Ranch.

DR Performance Practice Deck, main UI
kwikkEmail debuted with this pretty piece of skeuomorphism.
Tinder-like interfaces were the hotness.


Current Me

I knew of Big Nerd Ranch since WWDC 2001 when I saw this rando tall dude in a cowboy hat wandering around the conference (Aaron Hillegass, BNR founder; he was there bootstrapping BNR). I was honored to join The Ranch in 2016 as an iOS Developer. I grew as a Technical Lead. I grew as a consultant. I was in the initial cohort of BNR Principal Architects (along with Jeremy Sherman and Josh Justice). September 2021 I became a Director, helping to run the BNR Engineering Department (~150 engineers). And in 2018, my team – Minimum Viable Pooch – won Clash of the Coders, both 1st place and Audience Choice (an AR app leveraging pioneering-at-the-time machine learning to recognize specific dog faces). My teams took 2nd in 2019 and 2021.

My bachelors degree is in Human Communication. The culture of Big Nerd Ranch (preceded by the “special” culture of Oven Bits, and the “Aladdin family”) has provided me with perspective. I’ve given a Nerd Remote Work and Nerd Culture talk to every Nerd who has come through BNR’s doors since 2017. I talk about being Brilliant (and Curious), Hard-Working (and Accountable), Kind (and Authentic). These “core values” as BNR calls them are really traits in people: the things we want them to be (and to do). I’ve observed how Nerds have interacted over the years, and become the resident SME on Slack usage, policy, and architecture as tools like Slack become more central to office existence. I find the observation and analysis of “corporate communication” – the corporation itself, the people within, the tools and how they are used – marvelously fascinating.

Due to that work with Slack that straddled into IS/IT, in March 2023 I made a lateral shift into the Information Systems department of projekt202 (the company that acquired Big Nerd Ranch in 2020 – so I’m with the same company, just different name), becoming the Principal Enterprise Architect for the company.

I am a stampeding buffalo running over keyboards (t-shirt). An inside joke from a particularly challenging and historical project. #IYKYK
I loved the product shots. The detail was exquisite, the shots gorgeous. This project was a bit of a train wreck, but I enjoyed it.
OneDay (My Lasting Legacy). This was a fun project. Neat product.
PanemQuotidianum, a labor of love for my wife.